MOUNT VERNON — Knox County Commissioners unanimously selected FreePoint Energy Solutions over FirstEnergy Solutions in a competitive bid to become the county Water and Wastewater Department’s electrical energy provider the next 14 months.

During its Jan. 22 meeting, Bob Snavely, a County Commissioners Association of Ohio consultant, informed commissioners that Requests for Proposal had been sent to five energy firms, seeking price quotes. County Administrator Jason Booth had discovered that with about 20 electric accounts including water pumping stations and the wastewater plant, there was an opportunity for cost savings. The quotes, provided to the county, resulted in the best two quotes from FreePoint Energy Solutions and FirstEnergy Solutions. FreePoint had a slightly better price quote based on a charge per kilowatt hour.

Those firms were told to return later with new bids per kilowatt hour. They did so, with FreePoint’s quote coming in at $0.04660 per kilowatt hour, and FirstEnergy with a bid of $0.04755 per kilowatt hour. FreePoint’s new bid not only will save the county $14,200 per year on electric costs; that savings is actually $4,500 more in savings to the county than its previous price quote, which would have saved the county $9,700 per year.

Energy prices are constantly fluctuating on a daily basis, said Snavely, an account manager with Palmer Energy Co. of Toledo, who works on behalf of counties to secure the best rates available. When the new price quotes came in, something a bit unexpected happened in Booth’s view.

“It’s interesting that the cold weather helped us (on pricing),” he said.

The ramifications of selecting FreePoint as its electric provider for the county’s Water and Wastewater Department could have a larger impact than just one department. Depending on how much savings the county enjoys, the agreement commission President Teresa Bemiller signed Thursday could be expanded to include other county entities — as May 2020 is when all other electrical agreements in Knox County are set to expire, according to Snavely.

The county’s Water and Wastewater Department uses about 2.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, which is the equivalent of about 220 households. All county departments combined use more than twice that amount of electricity. The average family household uses about 10,000 kilowatt hours annually.

 

Larry Di Giovanni: 740-397-5333 or larry@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews

 

 

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